InTune

In my opinion, one of the most ingenious ways “the cloud” is being used is in providing services that link tightly or directly with resources that are in-house.

“What does that mean?”

Tune in!Well… I’m talking about services are cloud-based, but which monitor or somehow allow interaction with devices you manage.  A great example of this is Windows InTune.   InTune is a cloud-based PC Management service.  As an IT administrator, you can use it to keep tabs on the desktops you’re responsible for.  You have a browser-based interface, which is your window into the health status of all of the PCs you manage. 

From the InTune home page:

“With the easy-to-use web-based console, you get immediate insight into your PC environment and can view update and malware status, alerts, security policies, and more. You just need an Internet connection and the Windows Intune client installed on each PC you wish to manage.”

Windows Intune

Check it out here.  And click on the featureless-faced boy below to get the free 30-day trial.

Get free 30-day trial

“Hey Kevin… Does Microsoft have any other products like that?… that work from the cloud but help to maintain local resources?”

As a matter of fact, we do.  One was just announced a few weeks ago at MMS 2011; a new member of the System Center family  called System Center Advisor.  That product is currently a Release-Candidate.  I’ll blog about this more in the near future, but in-a-nutshell SCA is a cloud-based sort of System Center Operations Manager, where monitoring agents on your local resources are sending their data up to the cloud service.  Pretty cool?

“Very cool!”

I knew you’d like that.

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Have you tried Windows InTune?  Have you tried one if its competitors?  Do you see a future in this kind of cloud-to-ground interaction?  Share your comments.

And tomorrow in Part 16, I’m going to introduce you to something we call the “Hyper-V Cloud”.